- Anvilicious: Oh, yeah; "There is no gene for the human soul." Basically, "You can't predict greatness" - Vincent didn't cheat at anything except the gene tests, yet excelled as an astronaut anyway. However, Gattaca refuses to look at anything save gene tests - Both Vincent and Jerome's.Vincent: No matter how much I trained or how much I studied, the best test score in the world wasn't gonna matter unless it had the blood test to go with it.
In a few short years, scientists will have completed the Human Genome Project, the mapping of all the genes that make up a human being. We have now evolved to the point where we can direct our own evolution.
- The Coda hits you like a bagful of wet sand behind your left ear.
Had we acquired this knowledge sooner, the following people may never have been born;
Abraham Lincoln Marfan Syndrome
Emily Dickinson Manic Depression
Vincent van Gogh Epilepsy
Albert Einstein Dyslexia
John F. Kennedy Addison's Disease
Rita Hayworth Alzheimer's Disease
Ray Charles Primary Glaucoma
Stephen Hawking Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Jackie Joyner-Kersee Asthma
Of course, the other birth that may never have taken place is your own...
- It's also very Anvilicious about how ableism - discrimination against disabled people - actually functions in real life. As well as the active contempt that Eugene experiences from people and the list detailed above (which can be summarised as "eugenics is bad okay"), people are often discriminated against with regards to employment despite what the law says; it's incredibly difficult to prove that an employer didn't hire you because of your disability and a lot of people with invisible disabilities won't disclose their disabilities in an interview for that reason.
- Awesome Music: The Departure, which is what happens you combine this trope with Tear Jerker.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The writers make a lot of fun of the police's obsession with DNA evidence - dubbing them "Hoovers" who ignore everything save what whatever scraps of human detritus they can vacuum up - and the real criminal is located through "good old fashioned police work." Nowadays, every form of forensics except DNA evidence is under fire; The Innocence Project has blown gaping holes in the validity of computer-enhanced photographic evidence, witness testimonies, and even fingerprints.
- Ho Yay:
- Vincent and Eugene. That scene after Eugene gets drunk, anyone?
- Eugene leaves him a lock of his hair.
- Iron Woobie: Both Jeromes qualify.
- One-Scene Wonder: Tony Shalhoub has a few minutes as the underground contact who brings Vincent and Jerome together, helping and lending the equipment necessary for the fraud, and is brilliant as a genetic profile "used car salesman".
- Paranoia Fuel: You can be rejected from a job interview the moment your fingerprint hits the door handle of the interviewer's office. And something innocuous as a lock of hair could give away your identity to someone.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Strawman Has a Point:
- The point about Designer Babies having decreased chances of inheritable diseases isn't necessarily bad. It's not that they wouldn't have been born, they just might not have those conditions which in many cases worsened their lives. Many other genetic conditions are fatal, so those without them would have a chance at life. True, it's possible having them in some cases is a trade-off, or merely through strengthening character, but one can't achieve much if they've died young from, say, progeria.
YMMV / Gattaca